Saadani National Park

Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the Indian Ocean. Gazetted in 2005, it encompasses a well-preserved ecosystem including the former Saadani game reserve, the former Mkwaja ranch area, the Wami River as well as the Zaraninge Forest. Sadaani National Park is located on the north coast roughly 100kms northwest of Dar-es- salaam and a similar distance southwest of the port of Tanga.

Saadan is one of the few breeding sites for turtles. The most common species is the Green Turtle, the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles. Many villages are dotted around the boundaries of the park. Saadani village itself once was an important harbor-town and slave-trading centre in East Africa. Nowadays it is a small Swahili village of about 800 inhabitants whose livelihood is mostly fishing. The coastal vegetation zones range from seashore full of palm trees, through the tidal mangrove forest that form a buffer between ocean and land, to the Wami River shore where the huge sycamore fig is found. Its semi open woodlands closely resemble the Selous game reserve, while the vast grassy area close to the tourism office is named ‘Serengeti Ndogo’ (Small Serengeti) and lives up to the expectations.

In Saadani National Park, large mangrove forest grows along the Wami River. This is also the place where large group of hippos can be observed. Nile crocodile also live here. The Wami River is also a very good place for watching birds such as kingfishers, fish eagles and many species of wading birds. The common animals in Saadan NP include common waterbucks, bushbuck, bush pigs, vervet monkey, yellow baboon and reedbucks. Warthogs are also omnipresent and even come into Saadani village. As most of the villagers are Muslims, warthogs have learned that they will not be harmed. Other wild animals in the park are giraffes, buffalo, hartebeests, large herds of white-bearded wildebeests also graze in the short grass savannas. They were released in the area in the 1970’s. Other introduced species are plains zebra and Eland. The lion which is the largest of the Africa carnivores is also found in Saadan, although it is rarely seen. At night you may also hear the hyenas and encounter genets, porcupines and civets.

Saadani is a one of a kind paradise where beach life meets wilderness. This gives you not only the opportunity to plunge into the Indian Ocean straight after your safari, but also to be submerged in a unique display of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a naturally fascinating setting.

Main activities include

Game drives, Boat trips to wami river, Guided walking, Bird watching, Sun bathing on the Saadani beach, Visiting the Saadani fishing village which used to be a buzzing trading centre.

Accommodation

TANAPA rest houses and bandas are available near Saadani village and at the park HQ at Mkwaja.

There are several camping sites in the park such as along the Wami River (kinyonga), Tengwe and beach campsites.

There are other privately owned accommodation facilities inside and outside the park such as Saadani Safari Lodge, KISAMPA and a tent with the view.

Best time to visit: from June to September. Less rainy is in December to February and rain season start from March to end of May.

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